After much speculation and various unconfirmed reports, Fox finally announced that Harry Connick Jr. is indeed filling the last vacant seat on the American Idol judges’ panel for Season 13.
Fox made the news official on Tuesday morning, sending out a press release to end all the rumours and questions as to who would be joining Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban as the final judge.
“American Idol has always been about discovering the next singing superstar, and next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom and personality to do just that,” said Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment at Fox.
He went on to describe new addition Connick Jr. as a “bona-fide musical genius and fantastic Idol mentor whose honesty and expertise can help turn these hopefuls into stars.”
“I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show,” Connick, Jr. said. “I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to American Idol, and to help emerging performers find their way.”
Connick Jr. has plenty of experience to bring to the chair, not only with Grammy and Emmy-awards under his belt, but as well with credentials as a multi-platinum singer, musician, songwriter, composer, and film and TV actor.
Randy Jackson, who recently stepped away from his post as a judge after 12 seasons, was also confirmed to return as everyone’s favourite dawg only in the role of in-house contestant mentor.
“Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all,” said Jackson. “Season 13 is the place to be. The original talent show is back with a vengeance and ready to discover the best talent in America.”
Returning host Ryan Seacrest took to Twitter with the official news as well, where he’d teased the announcement of the new judge on Monday.
“Alright guys ur new @AmericanIdol gang is @JLo, @HarryConnickJr, and @KeithUrban w/ @Yo_RandyJackson back as mentor! #Idol2014,” Seacrest posted.
Are you excited for the final judges selection? Will you be tuning in to American Idol? Let us know through the links below. And be sure to check out TV Guide Canada’s full Fall Preview here.